by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – I’ve always been impressed with the way MCLA student-athletes handle themselves on the field. Despite being responsible for every aspect of their programs, they very rarely come up short.
It’s one of the reasons I took this job.
The part that awes me is how a group of young men (along with their coaches) who pay to play lacrosse and dedicate enormous amounts of their time are still willing to give back to their communities.
I got another reminder of that on Friday when Kennesaw State and Georgia Tech got together for a game that, for the most part, meant nothing in regards to their ultimate goal of traveling to Salt Lake City.
The teams are from two different divisions and the result will be ignored by the selection committee.
But the contest meant something to the 542 children who will have a new pair of shoes this spring who would otherwise not be able to afford them.
In conjunction with the Pope (Ga.) High School lacrosse program, which hosted the contest, Tech and Kennesaw played a “Lace Up With Lax” game to help others not as fortunate as they are.
And they set a record in the process.
We hit a record @popelacrosse. 542 pairs of shoes were donated tonight! @KSU_MLAX @GaTechLAX @BufordLacrosse made their legacy OFF the field. #helpchildren pic.twitter.com/euWfYHjHmT
— Lace Up With LAX (@LaceUpWithLAX) March 17, 2018
A bunch of 18-to-22-year old MCLA players gave up a beautiful spring Friday night for a game that meant virtually nothing to their ultimate goal when undoubtedly all of their friends were doing something more…[cough]…"collegiate."
That’s big time, and it makes me proud to be associated with our organization.
It’s just one of numerous amazing things that our members are doing.
Back in February a high school player in Reno, Landon Maree, had a freak injury that caused a painful hip operation. It cost Maree his ’18 lacrosse season, but the players at Nevada stepped in to boost his spirits.
Landon is going to be an honorary captain at an upcoming Wolfpack contest (it was supposed to be this weekend against Boise State, but the game got snowed out). A young man lost his lacrosse season, but gained a roster full of fans.
New Haven adopted Isaiah Lamb, a six-year-old quadruplet with cerebral palsy, last year and the team is still dedicating wins to him this season, which has made Isaiah’s day on more than one occasion.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. MCLA teams have been doing these types of community-building initiatives for years, and they range from raking the yards of elderly citizens in the fall to putting on youth clinics for local youngsters.
And a lot of these service efforts never receive the notoriety they deserve. The student-athletes will only have the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference.
Instead of doing these acts of charity, the players on these teams could be using that time to fundraise for themselves. Lord knows officials don’t work for free and it’s not a cheap week at nationals.
Alas, the willingness of MCLA student-athletes to put others ahead of themselves makes me want to work harder and stay up later to give them the coverage they deserve.
You guys are an inspiration.
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Lopes win! GCU takes down Sonoma State in a 13-4 rout. #golopes
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Here Come the Lumberjacks!
Have you ever been to Flagstaff, Ariz.? It’s a fantastic area that boasts a cool ski mountain, fishable rivers and decent golf courses, all within one cozy little spot.
Flagstaff now likely boasts an MCLA tournament qualifier, as well.
Northern Arizona’s sweep of No. 21 Providence, No. 23 MSU Denver and No. 4 St. John’s this weekend in the Denver ‘burbs will likely be enough to catapult the ‘Jacks into the tourney if they need at-large.
That's an 8-7 comeback win over #4 St. John's. 3-0 on the weekend!
— NAU Lacrosse (@NAULacrosse) March 18, 2018
It should at least get them into the Top 10 of the Under Armour MCLA Division II Weekly Coaches Poll.
With wins over No. 12 Cal State Fullerton (which was ranked 8th at the time) and now the Johnnies, NAU has a pair of wins that the committee can’t ignore.
The win over St. John’s was likely extra sweet for Northern Arizona first-year head coach Dan Conrad, who played for the Johnnies' blood rival, St. Thomas.
We got a taste of what NAU could do last year when it went 12-1 with the lone loss coming to Concordia-Irvine in the SLC finals. Now that they have the schedule to match the talent, we should get to see them in Salt Lake City if they take care of business.
We talked a little about Arizona State’s close-call calamity on Friday and how Sunday’s Colorado State game was essentially a must-win.
Arizona State tops Colorado State 17-9 in Ft Collins @ASULacrosse @ASUcoachMac @MCLA @SLCLacrosse @UALacrosse @USLacrosseMag @Inside_Lacrosse (Full Gallery of Pro Game photos available at https://t.co/oCxB9Sj0T1) #RaceforSaltLake #mcla18 pic.twitter.com/dmo4MMyxn5
— Lance Wendt (@wendt5280) March 19, 2018
The Sun Devils exploded for a 17-9 win over the Rams, ending their five-game losing skid and proving that they don’t have to play everyone close.
ASU should be favorites to get back to .500 with UNLV and SDSU coming to town next weekend before a home showdown with No. 2 Grand Canyon.
The microscope is removed from the Sun Devils, but now it gets turned toward Colorado State.
My Top Fives
1. Utah (8-0) – Let’s be honest: Utah’s schedules looks softer now. Stay tuned.
2. Chapman (8-0) – Three games left and they all might be shutouts.
3. Grand Canyon (6-0) – If the Lopes sweep this weekend, top seed is still in play.
4. Michigan State (8-0) – Two more ranked wins potentially await this weekend.
5. South Carolina (8-0) – How will the three-week vacation impact the Gamecocks?
After a hard loss at our first home game on Saturday, UCSD turned it around and got back on track and dominated the field Thursday night against Biola leading 9-0 at half time. Final score was 12-4 and every Triton got playing time proving consistent talent through our depth charts. We made our mistakes and we learned from them to be better prepared for the rest of the season. We have a week off for finals and then are using our spring break to head to Northern California for games against SOU and Saint Mary’s. #AreYouReady #ucsd #ucsdlacrosse #ucsdlax #lacrosse #llax #getrecd #growthegame #mcla
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1. North Dakota State (6-0) – The Bison bullied three Top 15 teams in Bozeman.
2. Minn.-Duluth (6-2) – Not foreseeing much trouble in San Diego over break.
3. St. Thomas (6-1) – That 18-3 dismantling of Montana State is eerie.
4. Northern Arizona (5-1) – Two Top 10 wins, although the USD loss is bothersome.
5. St. John’s (7-1) – Two ranked games in one day? Lesson learned.
DIVISION I NOTES: Oklahoma took down Minnesota and Missouri over the weekend. The Sooners are quietly rounding into form for an LSA tourney push…Buffalo struggled out of the gate but has posted back-to-back wins over Illinois and LSU in Baton Rouge. Bulls will need to show out in the PCLL to have bigger dreams…sneaky good win for East Carolina over NC State on Sunday, 8-7…New Hampshire couldn’t pull off the Cali sweep, losing to No. 9 Concordia-Irvine on Saturday, 14-10. Still a bold start for the Wildcats. The PCLL has to be considered a toss-up…Simon Fraser is 5-1 with a huge opportunity on Saturday against No. 7 BYU.
DIVISION II NOTES: Wake Forest is up to 7-0 after sneaking past Coastal Carolina on Sunday. The Demon Deacons can wrap up the SELC North with a win over No. 8 Kennesaw State next Saturday…CU Denver is now 4-0 after bouncing Creighton, 16-4…in back-to-back weekends, Portland State has put together a couple of statement games against Southern Oregon (17-9) and Western Oregon (21-10). Time to put the Pilots in the “contender” category in PNCLL-II. College of Idaho awaits in two weeks…a key win for App State over Davidson. That will keep the Mountaineers in the SELC playoffs.